NXPs Mr Physics

Written by Darlington Jose Hector | Updated: Jan 17 2011, 08:02am hrs
It is usually tough being a child prodigy, but Neeraj Paliwal has managed quite well. As a child growing up in rural Uttar Pradesh, he was leagues ahead of other boys his age. His ability in Maths and Physics set him apart at an early age and he never took additional tuition to score well. While many of his peers were busy running around attending extra classes, Neeraj was happy with his school coaching alone.

Once you understand the fundamentals in Maths and Physics, then it is fun, says Neeraj, settling into his chair at a pool side restaurant. Uniquely, Neeraj is not an engineer but a double masters holder in Physics. Corporations like Intel and IBM hired his services for his sheer ability to innovate. At IBM, he led the gaming processor tools and methodology teams. There, he also led teams contributing to the success of Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. At Intel, he was responsible for the design and development of 32-bit x86 microprocessors, and chipsets for 64-bit microprocessors.

I truly believe in constantly learning and re-inventing myself as I progress in my career. If I have to choose one instance from my career so far, the turning point would be working with IBM, because thats where I first got the opportunity to manage a team on Sony Toshiba IBM Design Centre in Austin, Texas. We were designing the PlayStation 3 Cell processor and it was quite exciting, he says enthusiastically.

Neeraj has been at NXP for the last three years, and his passion lies in implementing breakthrough innovation as NXP raises the bar on high performance mixed signal products. At NXP, we strive to excel at everything we do. Constantly raising the bar is our main theme. We are a technology company where innovation is key to excel in the marketplace. Our goal is to get the country to recognise NXP India to be the best semiconductor company to work for by 2012.

Our people and our technology are the two top things that excite me about working at NXP.

We have a rich heritage and over six decades of leadership in the semiconductor industry.

This truly creates the differentiating value, and sets us apart from most of our peers in the industry, says Neeraj.

Growing up as a child, however, he wanted to join civil services just like his uncle. My uncle was my childhood idol. I was unlike my classmates who wanted to join engineering, as I knew that I could make it as a civil servant. I had a good support system at home, and my relatives helped me along at every stage.

But as fate would have it, he did not join the services, but instead turned to technology. He worked with ITI for sometime, and then went to the US for some project work and then proceeded with this career there. Now that he is back in India, he is loving it here. India has come a long way. There is exciting talent here to work with, and also some exciting projects. Whenever I hire for NXP, I look for people who love their work. We ensure that we hire top talent and back them to the hilt.

The Indian semiconductor industry is expected to grow by 12-15% from the previous year and the global semiconductor industry is slated to scale by 6-8% According to Neeraj, the semiconductor industry is now moving towards society-focused solutions that will benefit not one section of consumers, but the community as a whole.

Increased government spending in India on technology and infrastructure will also boost this trend. Overall, we are seeing four key trends that are driving growth for the semiconductor industry, globally as well in Indiaenergy efficiency, connected mobile, security and health, he says.

Neeraj has a unique way of relaxing. He likes to spend time alone in a night club, listening to live music. I have found a place in Bangalore, to my liking. I visit that club whenever I need to unwind. I am quite happy to sit by my side and listen to some classical hits as I nurse my drink.